Snaptu gets snapped up by Facebook

Last Sunday, London based mobile developer Snaptu confirmed that it had been acquired by Facebook in a $60-$70m deal. Looking into this, I learned that this move is all about Facebook wanting to expand its presence and usage across a number of mobile platforms.

Snaptu specialises in online solutions for mobile phones (particularly for “feature” phones, i.e. non smartphones). On it’s blog Snaptu explains that:

“Earlier this year, we announced the launch of a new Facebook mobile application to give people a great mobile experience on a broad range of feature phones. The Facebook for Feature Phones app currently works on more than 2,500 devices.

We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development. And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.”

I learned the following from this particular deal:

  1. Facebook is really concentrating on mobile – Recent acquisitions of Rela8tion (mobile advertising), Beluga (group messaging service) and now Snaptu clearly indicate that mobile holds (an important part of) the future for Facebook.
  2. It’s not all about smartphones! – Even though the focus predominantly tends be on smartphones, companies like Snaptu are leading the way in developing interactive, online services for feature phones. In addition to working with Facebook, Snaptu is going to create a mobile platform for professional social networking service LinkedIn.

Main learning point: in its ongoing quest to be successful on all platforms, Facebook seems to have made another important move. Mobile devices and location-based services/marketing is where the future is and Facebook is striding forcefully into that direction, making sure not to miss out on things to come.

Related links for further learning:

http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/20/facebook-reportedly-acquires-snaptu-for-an-estimated-60-70-million/

http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110125/facebook-acquires-mobile-advertising-company-out-of-stealth-mode/

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